House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and others in her party have long called for a 9/11-style commission to investigate the riot on Capitol Hill earlier this year.
According to reports, however, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) has confirmed his opposition, potentially dooming the measure in a chamber with a slim Democratic Party majority.
“Refused to negotiate in good faith”
McCarthy’s decision was announced on Tuesday in a statement blaming Pelosi of partisanship in the process.
“For months, the Speaker of the House refused to negotiate in good faith on basic parameters that would govern a commission to examine the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol,” he wrote.
Instead, he accused Pelosi of wasting time by “playing political games.”
The California Republican’s statement concluded with criticism of “the political misdirections that have marred this process,” particularly noting Pelosi’s “shortsighted scope that does not examine interrelated forms of political violence in America.”
As a result, McCarthy voiced his opposition to the measure and, as Politico reported, is now among the House Republicans who can feel free to vote against the commission.
“Disappointing but not surprising”
Even if Pelosi is successful in attaining the support from some GOP lawmakers and the legislation passes in the lower chamber, it will face an even tougher path forward in an evenly divided Senate.
For her part, the House speaker accused Republicans who are against the commission of cowardly behavior.
“I’m very pleased that we have a bipartisan bill to come to the floor,” Pelosi said, describing it as “disappointing but not surprising that the cowardice on the part of some on the Republican side not to want to find the truth.”
She was joined by other leading House Democrats in expressing outrage over McCarthy’s statement. House Democratic Caucus chair Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), for example, insisted: “It’s hard to take Kevin McCarthy seriously at this point. … I don’t know what Kevin McCarthy is afraid of.”
Pelosi is expected to bring the measure to the House floor for a vote later this week. It is unclear when a measure related to the creation of a Jan. 6 commission would be considered by the upper legislative chamber.